Genesis: Punishment

Genesis 19:1–29

God hates sin.

I wonder if this is the story where we get the caricature of God in the Old Testament. A picture of God as vengeful and nasty. A God who is angry and eager to annihilate sinners. A God of wrath and punishment. This is a picture I often hear reflected back to me of what they think God is in the Old Testament.

So it warrants the question: Is God justified in punishing people?

Doesn’t the Bible say “God is love”?

But this is just one story in a much bigger story. Would it be fair to take one 5-minute slice of your day today and define your entire life by how you acted in that 5 minutes?

What if we take this story within the context of God creating his good world. And the twin ugly, insidious monsters Sin & Death are wrecking and poisoning God’s good world, perverting, seducing, and twisting God’s Image-Bearers, humanity? And what if the corruption of the Image-Bearers is so deep that they’ve become accomplices in the destruction of God’s good world? If you’re God, what do you do about that?

In the context of the previous chapter, we could see that the sin that Sodom is judged for is a lack of hospitality (Abraham welcomes the strangers, while the people of city most certainly do not). Elsewhere in the Bible, there are hints that Sodom exploited its poor.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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